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 Post subject: TV Antenna Advice
PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2019 2:52 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2016 7:04 am
Posts: 63
Location: Shelburne, Vermont
Hey folks,

I very rarely use the TV in our Born Free, but sometimes it might be nice to pick up a local channel. I have an original Delta antenna on the roof - and I am guess it is pretty useless now. At least I have been unable to get any channels. I live about 5 miles outside a small city. My TV is newer (at least in the last 10 year) and can do a channel search for digital and analog stations. But none are coming in. My guess is I need a newer digital antenna?

I would like to go with something that is simple and omni directional - I don't want to have to fuss with direction. I realize that means I might need to figure out how to cover up the area in the roof where my Delta crank is currently.

Any suggestions for a low cost solution?

_________________
--Kevin
2003 Born Free 24' RB - No. 6685 -- 11/2003
2001 Born Free 24' RB - No. 6176 -- 9/2000
(Former 2001 Born Free 24' RB - No. 6185 -- 3/2001)


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 Post subject: Re: TV Antenna Advice
PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2019 3:07 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2005 8:05 pm
Posts: 1990
Location: Spencer, IA
Kevin, years ago I removed my Delta TV antenna and replaced it with a Winegard Sensor III (batwing) TV antenna on my 2002 26' RSB Coach. It performs very well on the newer digital TV channels. You can learn about it in two posts, one titled CONVERTING TO THE WINEGARD 'BATWING' SENSOR III TV ANTENNA and the other post titled Photos of Winegard Sensar III Batwing TV Antenna Installatio both in the Coach Modifications section on this forum.

The other TV antenna also used by the Born Free factory was the Jack antenna. You can learn about that TV antenna by reviewing a post titled Jack TV Antenna Installation in Born Free 24' RB Coach also in the Coach Modifications section on this forum.

By the way, TV antenna advertising is misleading. A TV antenna can't tell the difference whether is it receiving an analog TV signal or a digital TV signal. However, most of the new digital TV transmissions are at a higher frequency so the newer antennas are designed and tuned to that higher frequency range.

Neither of these antennas are omni-directional - they must be pointed for best signal reception. I am not aware of a omni-directional TV to be mounted on the roof of an RV. I have seen reviews that suggest that the Winegard Batwing outperforms the Jack to some extent.

If you can't receive any TV stations even relatively close ones on your Delta antenna, then I would suggest one of the following problems:
a) The coax between the antenna and your TV wall plate is either open or shorted
b) The pre-amplifier in your TV wall plate is defective
c) Your TV itself may be defective

See, all you need do this browse our forum for answers to your questions!

_________________
Bill Hemme - Spencer, Iowa
E-mail: whemme@earthlink.net
2002 Born Free (Ford E-450 V10) 26' RSB
2016 VW Golf GTI - toad


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 Post subject: Re: TV Antenna Advice
PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2019 3:44 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 02, 2006 10:52 pm
Posts: 1116
Location: Mobile, AL
Search omnidirectional RV tv antenna on Google and see several.

Search on Amazon and see customer ratings to use as a guide in selection.

My take: if omnidirectional antennas are as good as, or better, than directional antennas you have to aim and adjust, why is the Winegard directional so popular?

Perhaps someone reading this who has an omnidirectional will tell us with a reply to this thread.

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Dallas Baillio
2001 26RSB
Born Free Leap'n Lions RV Club Member


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 Post subject: Re: TV Antenna Advice
PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2019 4:21 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2016 7:04 am
Posts: 63
Location: Shelburne, Vermont
Thanks folks,

It did occur to me that I might have an issue with the wiring for the Delta... but since last year is was leaking water inside (I fixed this with some sealant) I know the time is right to upgrade.

I have searched and seen several Amazon "omnidirectional RV tv antenna" - most seem pretty inexpensive.

Has anyone had any experience or luck just hooking up an indoor antenna as well? They are getting more streamlined and cheap also.

I might just look at the Jack and Winegard.



--Kevin

_________________
--Kevin
2003 Born Free 24' RB - No. 6685 -- 11/2003
2001 Born Free 24' RB - No. 6176 -- 9/2000
(Former 2001 Born Free 24' RB - No. 6185 -- 3/2001)


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 Post subject: Re: TV Antenna Advice
PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2019 8:07 am 
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Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2010 9:15 am
Posts: 401
Location: New Hope, MN
The biggest problem with an omnidirectional antenna is low gain. You have to be fairly close to the broadcast transmitter to receive a good signal. Another problem is multipath reception. In the old days this was called ghosting. If the antenna is receiving a strong signal that is reflected off something such as a high building this can cause reception problems.

The Winegard Sensar IV (aka Batwing) is considered the best RV antenna. I have both the Batwing and the Jack. Both the Batwing and Jack are directional and need to be aimed toward the TV transmitter sites. The Jack works poorly for the VHF channels (2-13) but is on par with the Batwing for UHF channels (14 and above). Most so called "digital" antennas are tuned for the UHF band. The Batwing is about the only RV antenna that also does well for the VHF band. When analog TV shut down, many TV stations reverted to the VHF band. About 25% of TV stations now broadcast on VHF.

You can try one of the cheap stick on antennas and if that works, great. Keep in mind that the ranges claimed are hugely exaggerated. Here's one that gets great reviews on Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/Amplified-Powerful-Amplifier-Television-Detachable/dp/B07RQDR8K3/ref=sr_1_5?keywords=TV+antenna&qid=1558613705&s=gateway&sr=8-5

Here's a link to a previous thread:
https://www.bornfreervclub.org/bulletin_board/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=4739

This link is helpful for locating transmitter sites near you:
https://otadtv.com/tvtower/index.html

Most of the TV stations for your location come from Burlington which is 23 miles away. For most TV broadcasts the channel number displayed on your TV is not the actual RF channel being broadcast. For instance, the ABC affiliate is virtual channel 22 but broadcasts on RF channel 13 which is in the VHF band.

If you opt to replace the Delta antenna with one like the Batwing or Jack, you will also need to replace the wall plate near your TV. Most RV antennas have an amplifier built into the antenna head. For the Delta, the amplifier is in the wall plate. The replacement wall plate has no amplifier and sends power up the coax to power the amp in the antenna head.

Also, if you go with the Batwing, it will not stow toward the rear of the coach. There's not enough room between the fridge vent and air conditioner. I mounted mine so that is stows to the side.

_________________
Tom
2005 24' RB
Towing 2013 Smart car
New Hope, MN


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 Post subject: Re: TV Antenna Advice
PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2019 8:28 am 
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Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2016 7:04 am
Posts: 63
Location: Shelburne, Vermont
Thanks Tom,

Some very helpful information here! To be honest TV is so not important to us, but occasionally we allow others to spend the night in our Born Free in our driveway - and right I can not pull in any channels. I think I might first try something like a cheap indoor antenna like the Amazon link you shared, for less than $20 - worth a try.

_________________
--Kevin
2003 Born Free 24' RB - No. 6685 -- 11/2003
2001 Born Free 24' RB - No. 6176 -- 9/2000
(Former 2001 Born Free 24' RB - No. 6185 -- 3/2001)


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 Post subject: Re: TV Antenna Advice
PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2019 10:20 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 6:26 pm
Posts: 14
Location: Oxford, MS
We replaced our antenna about two years ago with a King Jack and have been very satisfied with it. When camping in Hot Springs AR just after we got it, our neighbor boasted he was getting 3 stations. We got 8! We especially like the low profile design and not having to remember to retract it. Ours is the Model OA8500, the OA8300 might be a less expensive option: https://www.rvweb.net/best-tv-antenna-for-rv-reviewed/

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Bob n Gail
2005 26RB
Oxford MS


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 Post subject: Re: TV Antenna Advice
PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2019 9:24 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2010 9:15 am
Posts: 401
Location: New Hope, MN
Here's a link to a comparison of the Batwing vs. Jack:
https://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/fuseaction/thread/tid/27171026.cfm

SCVJeff is a broadcast TV technician and used a spectrum analyzer for his test. The Jack didn't fare very well.

_________________
Tom
2005 24' RB
Towing 2013 Smart car
New Hope, MN


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 Post subject: Re: TV Antenna Advice
PostPosted: Sat May 25, 2019 6:10 am 
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Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2016 7:04 am
Posts: 63
Location: Shelburne, Vermont
Update,

Ok, here is an update on my TV Antenna exploration.

As I mentioned, sitting in my driveway - the original Delta TV antenna was unable to pull in any channels.. might be the cable, the antenna, etc. I didn't full investigate just yet.

I did however buy "one of the cheap stick antennas" that Tom gave a link too. In fact I bought the very one he linked to on Amazon and it was shipped and arrive in one day.

https://www.amazon.com/Amplified-Powerful-Amplifier-Television-Detachable/dp/B07RQDR8K3/ref=sr_1_5?keywords=TV+antenna&qid=1558613705&s=gateway&sr=8-5

The cost was only about $18 - for under $20 I am willing to experiment.

It arrived in a padded envelope in my mailbox, it is much smaller then it appears on Amazon images.. the size of the antenna is about 1/2 the size of a piece of paper. I plugged in directly into the back of the TV - it also comes with a small USB power amplifier, I plugged this into a usb port on my TV. I placed the antenna inside the overhead cabinets above my couch - closer to the front passenger seat. I had a pass through for the cable very close to the TV already that I could slip the cable through for testing.

Result? It worked better than I would expect and is exactly what I was hoping for - something better than nothing. I pulled in 17 digital channels. I know I should investigate the Delta more, but at this point, since we never watch TV on the road I am considering removing the Delta completely and just keeping this around for when I might need it. I am open to suggestions on Delta removal and what to use to cover the holes inside and outside.

Here is a picture of this little antenna tuck up in my forward over head cabinet at the moment. I may used some velcro to find a place to can mount it:

Image

_________________
--Kevin
2003 Born Free 24' RB - No. 6685 -- 11/2003
2001 Born Free 24' RB - No. 6176 -- 9/2000
(Former 2001 Born Free 24' RB - No. 6185 -- 3/2001)


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 Post subject: Re: TV Antenna Advice
PostPosted: Sat May 25, 2019 7:36 am 
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Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2010 9:15 am
Posts: 401
Location: New Hope, MN
Good to hear that it worked for you. One note, TV signals are horizontally polarized, so you would get better reception if you turned the antenna 90 degrees so that the cord faces the bottom or top.

_________________
Tom
2005 24' RB
Towing 2013 Smart car
New Hope, MN


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